Lauren Deitsch’s journey toward chocolate started at the Culinary Institute of America, where she graduated with an AOS in baking and pastry.
During her school externship, she worked as a pastry cook and chocolatier at a small café near the college where her passion for chocolate continued to grow. When she was nearing graduation, she applied for a position at Lake Champlain Chocolates, hoping to continue creating wonderful things for others. Due to the people believing in her and giving her the opportunity to do just that, she has now been in her position as research and development specialist for almost three years.
Can you talk about some of your made with honey products and which ones are your favorites?
Absolutely! We make four products with local honey that we source just up the road from us in St. Albans, Vt. Two items are Lake Champlain Chocolates signature items that we are most known for. The first is our Caramel Five Star Bar. It is a tall, chunky bar packed with honey caramel, dark chocolate pieces and almonds all covered in milk chocolate. The second is our Honey Chocolate of Vermont. It is a round dark chocolate piece molded in beautiful honey hive motif and filled with chewy, honey caramel.
The honey in both of these pieces creates its distinct flavor and texture. The other two pieces are our Bergamot & Honey and Chipotle truffles included in the Revel Chocolates collection. In these, the honey is used as a natural sweetener and plays more of a supporting role to enhance the primary flavor of the truffles.
My personal favorite is the Honey Chocolate of Vermont because it has so much story and beauty behind it. This piece has been with Lake Champlain Chocolates since the early beginnings of the company. A local jeweler designed the original beehive mold that makes it so gorgeous. And it is gives you an absolutely delicious taste of Vermont!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Personally, as ridiculous as it sounds my inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. It may come from the beauty I take in while I’m on a walk or bike ride. It might come from a friend’s daughter’s smiling face as she tastes our chocolate for the first time. It may also come from eating a wonderful dinner out or cooking with ingredients I seldom use on a regular basis. I think as long as I have my eyes and ears open to the beauty around me, inspiration will always flow.
The honey caramel gift bag is one of your customer favorites. Why do you think that is?
Honey Caramels have been a customer favorite at Lake Champlain Chocolates for more than 25 years. The flavor contrast between the bittersweet dark chocolate and the sweetness of the honey caramel is simply delicious. The rich dark chocolate coating surrounding the velvety honey caramel filling is a mouthwatering texture contrast. Our honey caramel gift bag is beautifully packaged and taps into our visitor’s connection to the Vermont landscape.
Why do you love working with honey and what makes it such a great pair with chocolate and caramels?
I love it because each honey, each harvest and each year is different. The honey changes with the passing of time and seasons. It makes the chocolate ever evolving and relevant to the times. In terms of flavor, the fruity and floral notes from the honey pair beautifully with both milk and dark chocolate. Sometimes the honey notes accentuate the chocolate notes, and sometimes it’s the opposite, but each complements the other well.
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